Managing the Welbeck Group (Part One: Alex)
People often ask me what it is like to co-manage the Welbeck Group. Like all demanding jobs it has its rewards and its low points, but when I see how other groups have treated their managers, and vice versa, I consider myself to be lucky.
First of all, Alex “Animal”, the drummer, is just a showman, pure and simple. He’s a good time old style rock n roller, who needs a firm hand. However, once pointed in the right direction, he can be a real assest to the Welbeck Group, reducing tension at press conferences, and clowning around. I don’t think he uses any substanses, I just think he’s got a natural joi de vivre which occasionally spills over. His weak point is his mouth. IU always say to him “Alex, if you want to stay a member of the Welbeck Group, you must engage brain before you open lips!” I think he takes what I say to heart, but he is prone to allowing himself to be led away and distracted by poor quality friends. He’s not a young man, but does seem to sek out the company of the younger and wilder elkements in the music business and that can be a problem.
Alex is not the sort of person to vandalise property on purpose, like throwing TVs out of hotel rooms, but his anticvs can sometimes lead to problems, invariably requiring me to pay someone off, and dock his wages. That’s one of the main thinghs about Alex, he is a paid employee of the Welbeck Group. That’s because he doesn’t contribute to songwriting, direction, or Welbeck Group discussions. That suits him, I think. He’s happy being given a song and told to do his trademark Keith Moon style syncopations on the tubs (drums). He has a set of drums that was actually played by Keith when he was in the pre-Who band, the High Numbers:
When the Welbeck Group present Alex with a new song, he is very quick to see where he can fill in and where it’s best to just play percussion plain and simple.
Incidents? Yep there have been a few involving Alex. The last one I remember was when in Rio de Janeiro, he had a little too much local rum and with some roadies from another band, took some carnival queens and broke into a local swimming pool to have a midnight skinny dip. Unfortunately one of the locals thought it would be a good idea to tint the colour of the water, and tipped in a load of red dye. There were security cameras and of course they were caught. I managed to explain that Alex had not been the ringleader, and after a few thousand was paid to drain and refill the pool, and unruffle feathers, all was well. No court appearances or breaks in the Welbeck Group gigs in South America and Brazil that month.
As I said, Alex is no real trouble, just a fun-loving sould that needs a bit of guidance and direction from me now and then- a firm but friendly hand on the tiller!